Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based platform that puts enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) under one roof. Companies that have trouble dealing with a myriad of business processes need Dynamics 365. However, before you subscribe, ask yourself whether you should use it straight out of the box.

Dynamics 365: What’s available?

Like most software in the market, Dynamics 365 is prepackaged with features directly from the software vendor, which offers several benefits. For starters, it is generally easier to deploy and costs far less than a customised solution. It also has over 130 out-of-the-box features that are designed to streamline several business processes. Here are its core features:

  • Customer insights – Uses machine learning to produce actionable insights based on previous client interactions. These insights allow you to:
    • qualify leads,
    • identify the behaviours of your top customers,
    • predict business outcomes, and
    • make individual recommendations for interacting with specific customers.
  • Marketing – Lets you set up and coordinate:
    • email marketing campaigns,
    • landing pages, and
    • events to generate more leads and conversions.

You can even track each campaign’s performance metrics in real-time, including customer engagement and click-through rates so you can adjust your strategy as you go along.

  • Financial management – Provides all the features you need to handle your finances, including:
    • general ledger,
    • audit trails,
    • bank management and reconciliation,
    • budgeting, and
    • multi-currency consolidations.

It also allows you to create detailed reports and charts so you can review your financial performance and make informed decisions.

  • Project management – Gives you access to a centralised dashboard where you can:
    • organise tasks,
    • plan your resources,
    • manage expenses and billing,
    • track employee timesheets, and
    • evaluate project performance.
  • Supply chain management – Streamlines:
    • purchase orders,
    • warehousing,
    • shipping,
    • budget planning, and
    • demand forecasting.

Now you can manage your inventory levels effectively.

  • Field service – Includes:
    • auto-scheduling,
    • inventory management, and
    • location tracking functionality.

Trades workers can now service customers on time and are equipped to handle any job.

How easy is it to use?

Since Dynamics 365 is designed for common business processes, it’s optimised for ease of use. It features an intuitive user interface many Microsoft users are already familiar with. The platform makes it easy to train employees. There are also informative tooltips and a search function available for when you and your employees need to find specific features or data. Customising security and user interface settings to fit your needs is also possible out-of-the-box.  However, you might require some technical assistance.

The limitations of out-of-the-box

Dynamics 365 out-of-the-box offers a host of features, but it may not fit your specific business requirements. For example, if you run a non-profit organisation, you may need donor management features on your Dynamics 365 platform to streamline gifting and donations. Or, if you manage a trade business, you may want to enhance field service features by adding credit card processing and bar code scanning capabilities to make payments more efficient.

What’s more, you need to integrate Dynamics 365 with other platforms to get the most out of it. When paired with Microsoft Outlook, Dynamics 365 can better:

  • track customer interactions,
  • identify leads, and
  • schedule tasks.

You can also combine it with Power BI to create interactive charts and custom dashboards. You won’t be able to experience these benefits if you don’t customise your Dynamics 365.

In fact, settling for out-of-the-box features means you’re passing on extra functionality and new processes that can give your business a competitive edge.

Customise Dynamics 365

What’s great about Dynamics 365 is it can be customised however you like. Microsoft AppSource, an app store for business applications, has over 800 plugins and integrations that help you work faster and smarter on Dynamics 365. Even if you don’t find one you like, you can ask managed services providers to develop and install bespoke plugins for you.

Empower IT not only provides flexible Dynamics 365 plans, but we also customise it based on your needs and preferences. Just tell us what business apps and features you need, and we’ll handle the rest. We’ll even optimise the user interface, workflows, and access restrictions of your Dynamics 365 so you can be productive, profitable, and secure. Call us today!

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